Big TV tal­ent test for lo­cal en­ter­tainer

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By DAWN FEL­LOWES dawn.fel­lowes@pe­ter­bor­oughto­

TONIGHT is the night for an im­pres­sion­ist from Wis­bech who is hop­ing to wow the im­pla­ca­ble Simon Cowell and mil­lions of tele­vi­sion view­ers in the fi­nal of Bri­tain’s Got Tal­ent.

Paul Burl­ing came top in his semi-fi­nal ap­pear­ance as Harry Hill on Wed­nes­day night and is look­ing to make the right im­pres­sion tonight to win the £100,000 cash prize and the chance to per­form be­fore the Queen at the Royal Va­ri­ety Per­for­mance.

And his fam­ily and friends in Wis­bech and Wit­ter­ing will be glued to the tele­vi­sion screen from 7.30pm root­ing for him.

The 41-year-old fa­ther-oft-hree said: “I’m a bit ner­vous but I’m feel­ing quite con­fi­dent and I’m con­cen­trat­ing on do­ing a good job. It’s all a bit crazy.

“I didn’t ex­pect to get so far, but I don’t think any­body does.

“It can be quite harsh so it was a risk to take part be­cause you don’t know which way it is go­ing to go.

“Fam­ily and friends have been very sup­port­ive and ev­ery­body is re­ally pleased for me.

“It’s crazy but it is great to have such back­ing, I think I’m lucky re­ally.”

The vet­eran im­pres­sion­ist and co­me­dian is orig­i­nally from Wis­bech, but has been trav­el­ling around the hol­i­day park and club cir­cuits for 22 years, try­ing to get his big break.

He even worked for Rob­bie Wil­liams’ dad in the 1980s af­ter be­ing spot­ted do­ing Tommy Cooper im­pres­sions while sweep­ing up be­hind a bar. He now lives near Bris­tol but re­turns reg­u­larly

to see his mum, dad and sis­ter in Wis­bech and is well known in the area.

Come­di­enne So­nia Allen, who lives at Wit­ter­ing with her hus­band RAF War­rant Of­fi­cer David Allen, has known Paul for 13 years, since they met shar­ing digs in Torquay.

She said it was fan­tas­tic to see her friend get the tele­vi­sion ex­po­sure and the recog­ni­tion he de­serves.

She said: “He’s such a nice bloke and he’s a lo­cal lad. His fam­ily are still in Wis­bech and he’s back on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. It would be nice for ev­ery­one around here to get be­hind him.

“He’s worked for 22 years as an im­pres­sion­ist and has gone around all the hol­i­day parks and all the clubs. For him there is nowhere else for him to go. It’s a last ditch at­tempt to get a break.

“When you see some­one who has tal­ent con­stantly be­ing knocked back who keeps go­ing on, then see­ing him do well and win the pub­lic vote is ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic.”

Her hus­band, who works at the tower at RAF Wit­ter­ing, has also spread the word about Paul by sig­nalling be­tween RAF bases across the coun­try and has been get­ting his mil­i­tary col­leagues to vote for him.

So­nia added that a lot of pro­fes­sional en­ter­tain­ers were scared to take part in the ITV com­pe­ti­tion in case they get slated on their first ap­pear­ance.

She said: “If he had got on there and got slated, then t no one would book him at all. It was a mas­sive gam­ble he’s taken but it’s paid off.”

Bri­tain’s Got Tal­ent is on ITV1 at 7.30pm tonight.

‘IM­PRESS US’: Bri­tain’s Got Tal­ent judges Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell.

tal­Ent: Paul Burl­ing do­ing his im­pres­sion of Harry Hill on Bri­tain’s Got Tal­ent.

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